W.C. Fields

  • Birth Name: William Claude Dukenfield
  • Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Died: December 25, 1946
  • Profession: Actor, Writer
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Fast Facts

  • Left home as a teen to act, and became a vaudeville star by age 21.
  • Although he separated from his wife, showgirl Harriet Hughes, shortly after the birth of their son in 1904, she never granted him a divorce and they remained married until his death in 1946.
  • Made his Broadway acting debut in the 1905 show The Ham Tree.
  • Performed in Folies Bergère in Paris and as a headliner in the yearly editions of the Ziegfeld Follies.
  • Made his screen debut in the 1915 short film Pool Sharks.
  • Earned critical acclaim on Broadway in the 1923 musical comedy Poppy, a role he later reprised for D.W. Griffith's 1925 film adaptation called Sally of the Sawdust.
  • Was known for humor that challenged the censors, a daily fondness for alcohol and his contempt for children and dogs.
  • In 1937, landed on the popular Chase and Sanborn Hour radio program with ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his wooden friend Charlie McCarthy.
  • Was considered for the role of the wizard in The Wizard of Oz.
  • Later films included My Little Chickadee with Mae West and The Bank Dick, considered one of his best.


  • Walter Dukenfield — Brother
  • Elsie May — Sister
  • Bessie Poole — Ex-significant Other
  • Adele — Sister
  • Fay Adler — Ex-significant Other
  • Carlotta Monti — Ex-significant Other
  • James L. Dukenfield — Father
  • Leroy Dukenfield — Brother
  • Claude Fields — Son
  • Maude Fenwick — Ex-significant Other
  • William Rexford Fields Morris — Son
  • Mildred Blackburn — Ex-significant Other
  • Kate Dukenfield — Mother
  • Harriet Hughes — Wife